Ethical Cashmere FAQs
What is cashmere?
Cashmere is a fine luxury fibre obtained from the cashmere goat. Sourced from goats grazed at high altitude, it is among the warmest and softest wool fibres. Products made from cashmere are therefore lighter compared to other winter wools, keeping you just as warm without the bulk.
Unlike fleece, cashmere is not derived from petrochemicals and is 100% natural.
How is cashmere fibre traditionally obtained?
Quality cashmere wool is combed from the goat during its spring moulting period, typically from the neck and underbelly. Longer coarse hairs are separated by hand as a lower quality batch, so that the remaining harvest is comprised of the fine fibres. Waiting for natural moult, and hand combing the fibres, is the least stressful harvesting method.
The traditional harvest yields the extreme softness of the finest cashmere wool, which is not comparable with mass-produced and mass-pastured cashmere, which are typically shorn off the goat.
FAQs for buying cashmere
Why is some cashmere a lot more expensive?
As a general rule, 100% pure fine grade cashmere will of course be more expensive than generic quality mass-produced cashmere. But there is a LOT of variation in the marketplace.
Some of it is explained just by the quality difference. (Learn more on our blog!)
But a cashmere product may also actually be a blend, i.e. mixed with cheaper wools or even cotton, which allows the price to be dropped markedly. In less reputable markets, this may be the case even when the label says '100% pashmina'. (Read about our personal experience finding this out at the blog!)
On the other hand, a cashmere blend may also be priced as though it is 100% cashmere! Always read the product description.
We can't speak for others, but Ethical Cashmere will always stock 100% authentic cashmere. Among the factors that determine value for Ethical Cashmere products include:
1. How much cashmere is used
Thicker scarves, woven more tightly for greatest warmth, use more cashmere fibre. Look out for the weight of the scarf in the product description.
2. Quality of the cashmere fibre
Cashmere of different grades have a different value. High grade cashmere is softest and typically more expensive.
As it is more expensive, and intended to be woven into the best quality product, only master weavers tend to be entrusted with this material. The reason? They weave without mistakes or breakages that will need to be repaired, so that no fibres are wasted due to rookie errors.
What do I need to know about cashmere colour?
Cashmere is a natural hollow fibre, which is the reason for its exceptional warmth while remaining lightweight. The hollow fibre also gives cashmere its lustre, which means that cashmere may appear to vary slightly in shade under different lighting conditions.
The effect seems to be more pronounced in paler products and is what differentiates this luxury fabric from inferior fabrics such as cotton or sheep's wool.
Learn more in this article about how different colours might exhibit this lustre.
Do I need to clean my cashmere?
Your cashmere product naturally does not need to be cleaned frequently. Cashmere fabrics get even softer with time and use. However, should you decide to clean your scarf, we suggest dry cleaning (it's safer to leave it to professionals!)
Does Ethical Cashmere ship internationally?
Yes, we do.
At the moment we do not offer free international shipping, unless you're a Community VIP (see below), or as part of ad hoc promotions.
Estimated delivery times vary; please allow for at least 2 weeks after receiving the order fulfilment notice. Please enquire for specific shipping time estimates.
Orders being shipped to addresses outside of Australia may require the recipient to pay local duties and taxes upon delivery. We regret that at this time, we are not able to offer international shipping with duties and taxes pre-paid. If such fees are imposed by local law, they are additional to the quoted price and are paid by the recipient.
Enquiries are welcome for specific countries; we may have shipped there before and could advise from past experience.
How do I join the Ethical Cashmere Community?
Subscribe to our newsletter and become part of our community!
We aim to replicate as much as we can the mountain ways of relating. So we will aim to only share community-only deals, and updates that we think you'll find interesting - no more than about once a month. You will never be spammed.
We also welcome feedback, whether directly to our email or via our contact form. It allows us to understand better what sorts of things you like hearing about, and what is not really interesting. In a long-distance and virtual setting, we can't see body language to adjust our communication!
You can also follow us on Instagram and give us feedback through there!
How do we qualify for Ethical Cashmere Community VIP status?
Our returning customers, as well as customers spending A$300 and above in a single order, are automatically qualified. Our VIPs additionally receive:
- VIP Welcome gift code
- FREE international shipping
- Priority returns policy (exempted from processing and shipping costs, subject to conditions)